It’s safe to say that a majority of small business owners rarely invest a lot time into thinking about their DNS or domain name service layer. This is because everything that goes into reliable DNS servers takes place behind the scenes, invisibly, so they are easy to neglect. A DNS server that does its job comes up as a topic infrequently, which is why most business owners often forget the importance of protecting their DNS servers from cyber threats.
In the following sections, we’ll explore a few DNS basics before discussing how Cisco Umbrella, Cisco’s cloud-based security platform, as a solution for providing an additional line of defense against criminal hackers and other threats. Cisco Umbrella uses threat intelligence software to block malicious software while preventing other known cyberattack methods like botnets and phishing attacks.
Now, let’s take a look at how Cisco Umbrella provides the first layer of cyber protection, no matter where your users are located.
What is DNS, and how does it work?
The fundamental purpose of any DNS server is to take the readable web addresses you type into your browser’s address bar and translate an Internet Protocol (IP) address. The IP series of numbers and decimals make up the unique identifier for every device or network that connects to the Internet. An internet service provider (ISP) assigns the IP address that every device must have to communicate on the World Wide Web.
Before your computer can open a website on any of the standard browsers, it needs an IP address to interpret the location of its domain. In other words, your PC needs an IP address to translate this information before you can use your browser to open a web page. The relationship is not unlike mobile phones connecting with each other using original phone numbers representing the unique devices.
Entering an IP address directly into your browser takes you to the same page location as when you type in the human-readable link into the address bar. You can use an IP address to link to any site, as long as you know what it is. Of course, the readable URLs are more sensible because they’re easier to remember, so there’s no need to remember an IP address.
DNS is a foundational element of the Internet, and the people use it thousands of times a day without even realizing it. This is because the domain name system effectively does the work of translating readable web links to IP addresses, ensuring that you get to the right website every time you conduct a browser search. It’s just too impractical to keep a running list of IP addresses and their associated web content, which is the reason we have DNS servers to handle this task for us.
How Cisco Umbrella Works
Download the following guides:
- Cisco Umbrella Brochure
- Cisco Umbrella Design Guide
- Cisco Umbrella Product Overview
- Introducing Cisco Umbrella For Cloud Based Protection
- Cisco Umbrella At A Glance
How secure are DNS servers?
Despite forming the foundation the of the World Wide Web, DNS servers are less secure than many would believe. The domain name system wasn’t engineered with security threats at the forefront and remains vulnerable to an array of cybersecurity attacks. Since businesses have grown more aware of their exposure the network-level threats, they’ve looking to add an additional layer of security to their DNS networks.
Even if a business thinks it is reasonably protected from threats, many existing security stacks don’t even look at DNS activity. The trouble when DNS activity goes unmonitored like this is that cybercriminals know this blindspot. It’s one they’re actively seeking to exploit. As cyberattacks have been increasingly sophisticated, they’ve also grown more reliant on DNS activity to carry them out.
Malware, ransomware, phishing, and threats that depend on social engineering depend on DNS to complete multiple phases of these attacks. DNS tunneling and DNS beaconing are two known tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that play role in the latest onslaught of highly sophisticated attacks.
What is Cisco Umbrella?
Before the workforce went mobile, all your critical business devices, software, and apps were housed securely behind a firewall. The trend in recent years, however, reflects more office employees being taken off-network than ever. Many companies support a global, often roaming workforce that accesses the internet from a variety of off-network locations.
Remote workers carry more inherent cybersecurity risks than onsite employees because they don’t have the same visibility and insight into offsite networks used to link their company devices with the internet and company business applications. Cisco Umbrella forms a Secure Internet Gateway to form your network’s initial layer of protection against cyber threats, regardless of where they connect to the Internet.
Cisco Umbrella, formally OpenDNS, increases visibility into DNS activity across all your devices, and each of your system users, no matter where they’re located. Umbrella is a cloud-based, open security platform that is readily integrated into most existing security stacks. The solution handles threat hunting while delivering live threat intelligence threats about any anomalies and or emerging cybersecurity attacks.
Umbrella analyzes internet activity to automatically expose attacker infrastructure before blocking malicious destination requests. This makes establishing a connection impossible, preventing the attack from launching in the first place. Umbrella stops phishing and malware attacks before they spread and start impacting your other devices.
Cisco Umbrella boasts an impressive 100% uptime rate since 2006 and is renowned for providing fast and reliable internet connectivity. The added DNS layer of security makes Umbrella an excellent option for companies looking to bolster their security positions, particularly at the DNS network level.
Do you need to secure your DNS-layer activity?
Using Cisco Umbrella to implement an additional layer of security to your network will help to ensure you eliminate threats before they negatively impact your business. When you add this layer of protection, you stop the threat’s ability to reach your endpoints and continue spreading.
Learn more about wireless solutions by Cisco Meraki:
- Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM): Retail Systems Manager
- Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM): Hospitality
- CMX Location Analytics for Retailers
- Cisco Meraki Systems Manager Datasheet
- Cisco Meraki Multigigabit Technology Brief
- How To Choose The Right Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliance
- Why Meraki for Retail?
- Why Your Business Deserves Better Security
- Hybrid Work Experiences
- Meraki For Manufacturing
- How Resilient is Your Business?
- Utilizing ARPA Funds for State and Local Governments
- Building A More Connected Community
- Building Experience-Driven Networks in State and Local Government
PCH Technologies helps businesses like yours develop actionable plans to improve their security posture. For more on how Cisco Umbrella’s cloud security services use machine learning to detect sophisticated cyber threats, reach out to the team at PCH Technologies today. Book your free discovery session online or call us now at (856) 754-7500.